Over the past years, the domain of open-source automation platforms has seen a surge in available instruments. Modern opportunities in terms of technological development and communication enable the creation of a greater number of community-driven projects with a sufficient level of quality and usability. Jenkins is one of the world’s leading open-source servers, which provides a wide range of tools and plugins to create, automate, and maintain a project.
The project welcomes professional contributions to its functionality from outside, as it ensures the continued development of the platform, adjusting it to the changeable landscape. Continuous delivery is one of the core principles upon which the Jenkins pipeline is built. According to the developers, the default functionality of the platform is set to support constant manual adjustments to the server. However, if it is required, Jenkins can be reoriented toward a continuous delivery framework.
The discussed automation pipeline follows a typical multi-stage protocol, which is discussed by the developers. The basic delivery architecture of Jenkins will have a minimum of three stages, which are Build, Test, and Deploy. However, this framework merely describes the fundamental organization of delivery. In fact, the development team of Jenkins suggests that extending the range of stages is one of the most common patterns for those who implement the pipeline within their projects. Staging and Production steps are proposed as potential extra phases for the Jenkins deployment process. In addition, the flexibility of the platform readily supports both continuous and continuous delivery for the proponents of either approach. Finally, another common pattern consists of human validation required for passing from one stage to another through a “sanity check.”
In terms of architecture, Jenkins represents a set of Java classes, modeling the concepts of a build system in a straight-forward manner. In fact, the directness of Jenkins and its tool is one of the primary architectural factors contributing to its usability and deserved popularity. The titles of Java classes utilized in the system are representative of their practical functions, and Hudson serves as the root of the object model. In order to avoid plugin conflicts, Jenkins loads each one into a separate class folder. If Jenkins were to receive a major change in its design, it would benefit from the default inclusion of the aforementioned “sanity checks” for all stages. Despite the importance of automation, human input is required at the development and testing of changes to avoid underlying bugs and troubles.